This represents a considerable improvement on the 3.2% decline the company’s first six months to August 2012.
Despite the “unseasonably wet Summer period”, volumes benefited from trade buy-in ahead of the Budget. “Volume continues to migrate from the on-trade to the off-trade but this slowed somewhat in the third quarter, stated the company.
Cider volumes were up 0.9% with Bulmers performing steadily across both trade channels. Beer volumes rose 7%.
In the UK cider volume declined 11.9% for the company in the third quarter with net revenue down 19.2% with its Bulmers-equivalent brand there, Magners, showing an 11.7% fall in volumes.
At the same time, international beer and cider volumes were up 28.1% in Q3 with a 16% increase in US sales volumes for Magners.
Christmas trading here was ahead of expectations despite November’s pre-duty increase trade stock build while in the UK off-trade retail data “suggests a more muted trading period in general and for Long Alcoholic Drinks specifically”.